Vine: The New Silent Film, or Another Vehicle for Cat Videos?

I'm trying really hard to figure out Vine, you guys. At first I didn't really know how people would use it and it seemed a little like the sketchville SnapChat app Facebook is trying to make happen, but now that I've seen some cool ones, it seems fun and like it would have a lot of the same qualities I love about Twitter.

But so far I've pretty much only posted cat videos.


Yep, I've become that person.

Please try not to judge me too harshly. At least they're only 6 seconds long. (Even if they do loop indefinitely.)

(Our cat is orange and has an old-timey name [Beckett] and plays FETCH, okay? That makes him better than approximately 80 percent of cats by default...right? Is anyone still reading this?)

I think perhaps it is harder to use because, from what I've gathered, in order for it to be anything more than just a dumb ol' TwitVId (something I'm basically using it for--so 2011 of me), you have to plan it out in advance. You have to know what you want your end product to be before you start, especially if you're planning on capturing a few seconds here and there to sum up an entire experience.

It takes even more preparation than arranging inanimate objects for an Instagram photo, because this time you have to arrange multiple things and film them in intervals.

But hey, I'm not above that. If I had anything interesting to Vine, I would totally be all over it.

Anyway, all that to say, even though I clearly haven't mastered Vine yet, I have made one particular observation about the app.

I think Vine is the new silent film.

Not in the same way MP3s replaced CDs, because silent films haven't existed in like...70 years or something, right? I'm bad at estimating.

But I do know to even get remotely close to explaining Vine to someone from the generation of silent films (I guess in this scenario you'd have a time machine or a TARDIS*), you'd have to explain cell phones, then the Internet, then smart phones, then apps and social media, and that would just be exhausting.

So maybe it's more like the rebirth after a long hibernation of the silent film or maybe it's like a horcrux of a silent film. I don't know. Just go with it.

Most people (out of like, the 12 Vines** I've seen) are using it to film a sequence of inanimate objects and/or scenes without any narration, or they're recording frame-by-frame time lapse videos. Occasionally I'll see one of a kid talking or some music, but most are silent.

I like it. I think it forces you to be creative visually, because really, what can you explain in six seconds? A Vine is worth 8 million words. Or something like that.

Just like Twitter forces people to be witty due to its required brevity, Vine will force people to use snapshots of film to tell a story (even if it's about cats or pizza).

I'm excited to see how people use it and how it evolves.

I think it has major potential. There are people out there far more creative than I am, and I'm excited to see what they come up with. So I can copy it.

By the way, if you have discovered a cool way to use Vine, please let me know in the comments. My friend Elizabeth and I need help conquering this thing. Don't worry, we've already written a letter to them about being able to save drafts and come back to the app without losing segments. So we're looking out for you. (By that, I mean Elizabeth is, because she's the one that actually wrote the letter. I'm just the person standing behind her yelling "Yeah! Do that!" and taking half credit.)

Have you used Vine yet? Whether yes or no, what do you think?

*I am now watching Dr. Who. I blame my husband. But I mean, HOW charming is Matt Smith? **(also is Vine a verb and a noun like Instagram? I'm treating it as such.)


You can follow me on Vine @laura_mcclellan. Y'know, if you like cats or share my frustration with spinny-rainbow wheels.